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Blue Trane: John Coltrane Plays the Blues

John Coltrane

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Album Review

Part of a slightly frivolous sampler series that features various jazz musicians and vocalists playing or singing the blues, Blue Trane: John Coltrane Plays the Blues has six selections taken from tenor saxophonist John Coltrane's Prestige recordings. Each of the numbers ("Slowtrane," "Traneing In," "Billie's Bounce," "The Real McCoy," "Big Paul" and "Sweet Sapphire Blues") comes from a different session, including one ("The Real McCoy") featuring Coltrane on alto with Gene Ammons. All of the music (which also has pianists Red Garland and Tommy Flanagan, guitarist Kenny Burrell and trumpeter Donald Byrd in the supporting cast) is excellent, but more serious collectors will want to acquire the complete sessions (which are readily available) instead.

Biography

Born: 23 September 1926 in Hamlet, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

Despite a relatively brief career (he first came to notice as a sideman at age 29 in 1955, formally launched a solo career at 33 in 1960, and was dead at 40 in 1967), saxophonist John Coltrane was among the most important, and most controversial, figures in jazz. It seems amazing that his period of greatest activity was so short, not only because he recorded prolifically, but also because, taking advantage of his fame, the record companies that recorded him as a sideman in the 1950s frequently reissued...
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